The creative instinct has distinct means of finding its path and revealing an outlet for expression; for Mini Giri, her journey has taken her into an exploration of poetry, and to crossing boundaries between word and image. The resultant imagery has grown organically, as she set out moving through a maze of words and passages in ‘A Kiss in Time’, a compilation of Shakespearean works, a writer she admires. ‘Found Poetry’ is a point of departure from her earlier coloured series’, as well as an extension of the mature understanding of spatial and linear design that her works exhibit.
Throughout the works, evocative phrases intuitively selected by the artist are visible as stark white strips, framed roughly by the shape of their combined alphabets and often contrasting with the background of lines or luminous self patterned black ink. Mini leads the viewer through the visual geographies, the highlighted words and phrases structuring the literal and conceptual reading of the surfaces. It is a world of black and white, into which the artist injects notions of randomness and mystery, playing with devices of visibility and concealment to create nuanced layers.
At first glance, one is reminded of Rabindranath Tagore’s complex and spontaneous doodles as he corrected his manuscripts. The similarity ends at first glance - the Found Poetry series reflects artistic deliberation and controlled execution, and a deep engagement with making meanings that draw on the active relationship of text with image. The shapes, forms and dynamic lines become the matrix against which to contemplate poems on romantic love. Underlying the imagery, the works represent fresh insight into Shakespeare’s works, particularly poignant in today’s turbulent times when human relationships are fraught with conflict and equality of any sort is hard to come by. By breaking the texts down into the specific context of love, longing and desire, Mini also refers obliquely to the politics of gender, a subject much debated in contemporary art and literature.
From the intimate pages within a book, to the scaled-up canvases in the series, the transformations steered by the artist’s process are tangible. A decision to make the text larger than life produces a visual tension, and enhances the formal relationship between the blackness of script contours and that of the drawing. The graphic, abstract forms appear to take on mass and volume, accruing the spirit of landscapes – which could be microcosmic or macrocosmic. The rhythmic lines suggest a sensation of movement, and of vibrating energies.
Found Poetry is a deeply evocative series, transcending the limited understanding of word and image to resonate with a broader and more philosophical understanding of life – how destruction or obliteration of one form can create another; and how, in the end, negative and positive, black and white, yin and yang can balance each other.